Re­mem­ber your pets when gift shop­ping

Pets are peo­ple, too. Re­mem­ber that come gift time

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Leanne Italie

NEW YORK >> Pets are peo­ple, too — at least when it comes to hol­i­day gifts.

More than half of dog own­ers and nearly 40 per­cent of cat own­ers buy their pets gifts for Christ­mas or Hanukkah, ac­cord­ing to the Amer­i­can Pet Prod­ucts As­so­ci­a­tion, an in­dus­try trade group.

Po­ten­tially, that’s 39 mil­lion dogs and 32 mil­lion cats on hol­i­day lists this year, the group re­ports. And don’t for­get all those pet aunts, un­cles, grand­par­ents and friends, let alone pleas­ing fa­vorite pet par­ents and all-around an­i­mal en­thu­si­asts with hu­man gifts just for them.

Some ideas

• PET TOYS: Flat­ties, some that squeak, are al­ways pop­u­lar, said Mardi Lar­son, a spokes­woman for the re­tail chain PetS­mart. And they can be cheap. For the hol­i­days, PetS­mart has some with Christ­mas mo­tifs, like a bright green di­nosaur in a Santa cap.

“Pets just love to de­stroy their toys. Flat­ties are safe be­cause they have no stuff­ing,” Lar­son said.

You can’t go wrong with balls. Lots of balls. Or go for durable toys in sturdy ny­lon or rope. Con­sider safety in such things as sewn-on doo­dads or other swal­low­able bits.

• PET BEDS & BED­DING: Face it, a pet’s bed is part of home decor. You might as well find one that looks rea­son­ably good as a gift. Choose one with a hol­i­day theme for an added fes­tive feel.

For a clas­sic or rus­tic look, PetS­mart.com’s ex­clu­sive Pendleton col­lec­tion in­cludes beds in au­tumn col­ors or rain­bow stripes. The com­pany also has com­bi­na­tion gift sets that come with a dog bed, cozy blan­ket and bone toy for about $20.

Pet­play.com will do­nate 20 per­cent of any pet bed pur­chased in Novem­ber to sup­port Movem­ber and the fight against prostate can­cer. That in­cludes beds adorned with bright yel­low mus­taches.

Oprah chose as one of her Fa­vorite Things of 2016 the Charles Fradin Home Cus­tomiz­able Pet Blan­ket. It’s a 60-by-54, mi­crofleece printed with an orig­i­nal hand-drawn im­age of said pet, for $395. Head to Ama­zon.

• FOR HU­MANS: Gift your an­i­mal-lov­ing hu­man a paw pen­dant, or head to one of the sites that will cus­tom­ize us­ing a pet’s ac­tual paw, in­clud­ing 4pawsfor­ever.org. At Un­com­mon­goods. com, there’s a woman who will make you a pen­dant from a mold of your pet’s nose. Look for other cus­tomiz­ables there, in­clud­ing pet por­traits and pil­lows that look like your dog.

There are kits avail­able for your pet lover to make a paw print mold to turn into a tree or­na­ment or gar­den stone.

How about a throw? PetS­mart has a red one sell­ing strong em­bla­zoned with: “I Just Want to Drink Wine & Pet My Dog.” $29.99. At Orig­inal­ter­ri­tory.com, there’s a 30-by-40 fleece that reads: “Naps are Bet­ter with a Dog.” $19.99.

Friend­ship­col­lar.com if just that: A match­ing col­lar for pet and bracelet for the hu­man. In a range of de­signs. $25 and $35.

• CLOTHES: For the pets. Widely avail­able.

Be­cause, equal­ity, PetS­mart sells tiny Santa and elf looks for Guinea pigs, com­plete with pointy hats. They’ve also got a Santa with snorkel and gog­gles for a fish tank, in place of fish at­tire.

Look around for one that amuses or fits your pet gift re­cip­i­ent’s per­son­al­ity.

• CATS & DOGS ETC: How about a hol­i­day scratcher, a la the one that looks like a Christ­mas tree or the one that looks like a sleigh at PetS­mart. Lots of these things ex­ist so don’t sweat it.

There’s one scratcher shaped like a DJ’s turntable that re­ally spins. It’s adorned with stick­ers of cat smi­ley faces, paw prints, pho­tos of fish-shaped cat treats, and faux band stick­ers, in­clud­ing “Run DOG.” Flat pack card­board. No glue nec­es­sary for as­sem­bly. $35. Widely avail­able from a com­pany called Suck UK. Search for DJ Cat Scratch­ing Pad.

Hol­i­day stock­ings are a thing for pets, in­clud­ing one filled with cat balls that comes with a pur­ple feather toy that’s part of the com­pany’s hol­i­day col­lec­tion. An­other for dogs from PetS­mart says: “Bones, Bones and more Bones!”

There are plenty of lit­tle sweaters and collars that are gifty, too, at just about any place that sells pet stuff. You don’t have to spend a lot.

Wildlife lovers

The World Wildlife Fund lets you se­lect two mugs fea­tur­ing Morten Koldby images of species the non­profit is work­ing to pro­tect: The tiger, snow leop­ard, rhino and bi­son. Choose two dif­fer­ent an­i­mals or a match­ing set of the same an­i­mal. Each mug holds 12.5 ounces. They’re a thank you for a do­na­tion of $55. Go to WWF­cat­a­log.org.

Col­or­ful and frame­able wildlife pho­tographs are widely avail­able. Hunt around for a fa­vored species and spring for a nice frame.

Or pick up a box of an­i­mal-theme note cards. Also widely avail­able. While you’re at it, the U.S. Postal Ser­vice has For­ever 47-cent pet stamps in a book of 20 with pho­tographs by Eric Is­se­lee. Pup­pies, betta fish, igua­nas, mice, hermit crabs, chin­chillas, corn snakes and, yes, dogs and cats are among them. Wildlife stamps are also out there.

Pet treats

Gifty boxed-up col­lec­tions that look like hu­man food fit right into the hu­man­iza­tion of pets trend build­ing over the years, said PetS­mart’s Lar­son.

Her com­pany car­ries treats that look like can­no­lis and mac­a­roons, along with a bag of treats in the shape of lumps of coal, from Bocce’s Bak­ery. Or­ganic. $4.49.

MARY ALTAFFER — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

In this Thurs­day photo Chloe Kar­dog­gian, a 12-year old res­cue chi­huahua, mod­els a guinea pig elf cos­tume dur­ing the PetS­mart hol­i­day col­lec­tion pre­view in New York. More than half of dog own­ers and nearly 40 per­cent of cat own­ers buy their pets gifts for Christ­mas or Hanukkah, ac­cord­ing to the Amer­i­can Pet Prod­ucts As­so­ci­a­tion, an in­dus­try trade group.

MARY ALTAFFER — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

In this Thurs­day photo Pet Hol­i­day Bal­lis­tic dog toys are on dis­play at the PetS­mart hol­i­day col­lec­tion pre­view in New York. More than half of dog own­ers and nearly 40 per­cent of cat own­ers buy their pets gifts for Christ­mas or Hanukkah, ac­cord­ing to the Amer­i­can Pet Prod­ucts As­so­ci­a­tion, an in­dus­try trade group.

MARY ALTAFFER — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

In this Thurs­day photo Burt’s Bees brand groom­ing prod­ucts are on dis­play at the PetS­mart hol­i­day col­lec­tion pre­view in New York. More than half of dog own­ers and nearly 40 per­cent of cat own­ers buy their pets gifts for Christ­mas or Hanukkah, ac­cord­ing to the Amer­i­can Pet Prod­ucts As­so­ci­a­tion, an in­dus­try trade group.

MARY ALTAFFER — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

In this Thurs­day photo a guinea pig santa cos­tume and a small pet habi­tat are on dis­play at the PetS­mart hol­i­day col­lec­tion pre­view in New York.

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